GLIMPSES OF THE FUTURE – OCTOBER 2020

Big Screen TV Without A Screen

 Epson has launched the EpiqVision Ultra line of “Laser Projection TV” projectors with the LS500 4K PRO-UHD, an ultra-short-throw machine capable of throwing 4K HDR content on a wall or screen at up to 120 diagonal inches.

“More than ever, people want great experiences at home,” said Epson America’s Rodgrigo Catalan. “And having a 120-inch 4K PRO-UHD4 screen on your wall – is the ultimate TV viewing experience. “Epson’s new EpiqVision Ultra LS500 Laser Projection TV redefines television and offers a truly immersive viewing experience for watching sports, TV shows, gaming, and so much more. It’s simply epic.”

The LS500 is built around proprietary three-chip 3LCD technology that reportedly supports the Rec.709 colour space. The projector offers real-time 12-bit analogue-to-digital video processing and 10-bit HDR processing, and puts out 4,000 lumens for both colour and white content, which will make it a safe bet for daytime and well as evening viewing.

It features a dynamic contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1, which should offer up deep blacks, and supports 4K HDR thrown images at 60 Hz thanks to HDMI 2.0 ports, one coming with Audio Return Channel for potentially fewer cables during setup. And it includes front-firing 10-W stereo speakers for an all-in-one entertainment solution.

City Traders Use VR To Create “Buzz” Of Trading Floor In Their Home Office

Spare bedrooms and living rooms could soon become part of vibrant trading floors as one of the world’s biggest investment banks considers providing staff with augmented reality headsets.

UBS has experimented with issuing its London-based traders with Microsoft HoloLenses, which would allow staff to recreate the experience of working in a packed trading floor without leaving their homes.

Banks have been desperate to bring workers back to the office, especially for regulatory-sensitive roles such as trading, but surges in coronavirus infection rates have meant many staff are wary about using public transport.

“If people really can’t come to the office, can we create a virtual presence?” Beatriz Martin, UBS UK chief executive, told the Financial Times. “We are thinking about experimenting with the tools that are out there.”

UBS has set up a working group focused on “reimagining the trading floor”, which has also considered setting up screens on traders’ desks with camera feeds from their co-workers to encourage collaboration.

NASA Wants Mining Partners For Moon Digs

 NASA has announced it is seeking proposals from private companies interested in collecting samples from the moon and making them available for purchase by the agency.

As part of the new initiative, one or more companies will launch a mission to the moon and collect between 50 and 500 grams of lunar regolith from the surface.

If they can store the sample in a proper container and send pictures and data to NASA to prove the sample has been collected and can be brought to Earth safely, NASA will pay that company between $15,000 and $25,000.

The company would receive 10% of its payment after its bid is selected by NASA, 10% after the mission launches, and the remaining 80% upon delivering the materials to NASA. The agency has yet to determine exactly how it will retrieve the sample, but the exchange would be expected to happen “in place” on the moon itself—meaning any participating company is only obligated to figure out how to get to the moon. NASA would retain sole ownership of the material upon transfer.

“Gait Analysis” Is Efficient As Fingerprint Matching For Identification

Liam Gallagher, formerly of the band Oasis, tends to stroll with a roll to his shoulders. John Wayne’s slow swagger has been linked to everything from a misaligned leg to small feet. Some say Vladimir Putin’s distinctive shuffle is thanks to KGB weapons training that encouraged operatives to dampen the swing of one arm to keep it closer to their gun.

Considering that walking is such an everyday function of a bipedal species, it is incredible that we find so many different ways to do it. Perhaps that’s why our gaits – and what they say about us – are so fascinating. It takes dozens of muscles working together throughout the body to put one foot in front of the other. These subtle patterns of muscular flexes and strains are highly distinctive, so much so that scientists who study gait increasingly believe they are as unique to you as your fingerprint.

Gait analysis has been around for years, but now it is going mainstream. China is using it (controversially) to track its citizens. Transport companies want to use it to identify ticket holders. Doctors say an analysis of your strides might provide an early hint of health problems. But is this technology on a solid footing? And is it offering a step in the right direction or is it merely another worrisome invasion of our biometric privacy?

Sails Can Reduce Shipping Emissions By 90 Per Cent (Surprise?)

Boat sails have propelled humanity around the globe for thousands of years, before being relegated mainly to recreational use over the last couple of hundred years by the development of steam technology and internal combustion engines, among other things, which developed more reliable propulsion across a wider range of conditions and use cases.

Fuel-burning ships have been phenomenally successful, opening up the global trade network we enjoy today, but we may not have seen the end of sails just yet. In response to the increasingly obvious consequences of climate change, a number of companies are working on ways to bring emissions-free sail propulsion back to the cargo shipping world, taking advantage of advanced materials, computer controls and some interesting new designs to take performance and speed to the next level.

The latest concept is the Oceanbird, a giant Pure Car and Truck Carrier capable of transporting up to 7,000 cars at an average speed of 10 knots on a North Atlantic crossing. That’s not quite as quick as a conventional ship; you’re looking at around 12 days instead of the typical 8, but the Oceanbird’s four colossal 80-meter (260-ft) high extendable wing sails promise to reduce emissions by as much as 90 percent.

Mothers’ Breast Milk – Made In The Lab

 What if there were another option for mothers unable to deliver their own breast milk? What if we could make human breast milk in the lab?

Enter startups Biomilq and TurtleTree Labs, founded in 2019 and based in the US (North Carolina) and Singapore respectively. The companies believe they can provide a more nutritious alternative to infant formula by inducing human mammary cells in a bioreactor to lactate, then harvesting the product.

“The end goal is a product that is as close to breast milk as we can produce,” says Michelle Egger, Biomilq’s co-founder and CEO.

Lab-made milk has similarities with lab-grown meat. While the cultivated meat companies are trying to grow animal cells that can then be harvested and eaten, milk companies aim to keep human mammary cells healthy and fed so they will secrete milk.

June 2020, Biomilq secured $3.5m and TurtleTree Labs $3.2m in early investment. Bill Gates’s venture firm is among Biomilq’s funders, while backers of TurtleTree Labs include the venture firm of the Saudi prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal. TurtleTree Labs says its methods could also be applied to producing the milk of other mammals; cow milk is a second area of work.

Cleaning Products Without Fossil Fuels

 Unilever is planning to spend €1bn changing what it puts in its laundry and cleaning products to cut out ingredients made from fossil fuels.

The consumer goods group aims to eliminate fossil fuel-based chemicals from products such as Persil laundry powder and Domestos bleach over a decade. It is the first initiative of this scale for cleaning products.

Peter ter Kulve, president of Unilever’s €11bn home care unit, said the cleaning sector faced a “diesel moment”, referring to revelations that diesel-fuelled cars caused more pollution than thought. “We have our diesel moment — I think everyone realises that the time has come that the cleaning industry has to pivot, and ask: ‘How do we clean up cleaning?’” The initiative comes as chief executive Alan Jope seeks to halve emissions from Unilever products across their life cycle by 2030, while also pushing up sluggish sales growth.

A Flying Car That Looks Like A Flying Car

 Sky Drive Inc. conducted the first public demonstration in August of its flying car, the company said in a news release, at the Toyota Test Field, one of the largest in Japan and home to the car company’s development base. It was the first public demonstration of a flying car in Japanese history.

The car, named SD-03, manned with a pilot, took off and circled the field for about four minutes.

“We are extremely excited to have achieved Japan’s first-ever manned flight of a flying car in the two years since we founded SkyDrive… with the goal of commercialising such aircraft,” CEO Tomohiro Fukuzawa said in a statement.

Ten Minute Saliva Test Diagnoses Heart Attack 

 New preliminary research is suggesting a simple saliva test can detect the presence of a protein biomarker known to signal the occurrence of a heart attack in just 10 minutes. If this prototype test is validated in future studies it could dramatically accelerate the speed at which patients with cardiovascular problems can be diagnosed and treated.

During a myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack, levels of a protein called troponin rapidly rise in a patient’s blood stream. Not every heart attack is immediately apparent. Symptoms such as chest pain, nausea and fatigue can be frustratingly non-specific, so when a patient presents to an emergency room with these signs doctors will quickly perform a blood test to measure troponin levels. The blood test today generally takes around an hour to return a result.

Who Knew? Turns Out LSD Is A Powerful Analgesic

An incredible, first-of-its-kind trial testing the pain-killing properties of LSD microdoses has delivered the compelling suggestion that tiny, non-psychedelic doses of this infamous drug could serve as an effective analgesic.

Back in the 1960s, during the original heyday of psychedelic science, one of the more fascinating research areas for LSD was its unexpected efficacy as an analgesic. Researcher Eric Kast was one of the pioneer investigators on the topic, publishing over a dozen key papers exploring the ways pain perception is influenced by LSD.

Kast’s work was primarily with active psychedelic doses of LSD, and he consistently found the drug produced effective, and protracted, analgesic effects. Unfortunately, Kast’s work with LSD ended, as most psychedelic research did, when access to the drug was restricted in the late 1960s

Decades later, as the freeze on psychedelic research begins to thaw, the idea of LSD as a pain-reliever still sits on the fringes of psychedelic science. No modern clinical researcher has returned to Kast’s ideas, however, anecdotal cases have begun to emerge highlighting some people self-medicating with LSD microdoses to treat chronic pain.

 

 

 

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